I. UNHEALTHY DIET–BY FAR THE LEADING CAUSE OF EARLY DEATH & DISABILITY IN THE WORLD:
1. Even before COVID-19, unhealthy diets with too much meat, animal products, salt, sugar, processed and “fast” foods, and not enough plant-based foods, exceeded tobacco as the leading cause of early death and disability in the world.
2. The Lancet Commission reported: “Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined.” (And this was before COVID-19).
3. “About one-half of U.S. adults have diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes” (U.S. HHS & U.S. Dept of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. 2015.)
4. Tragically, unhealthy diet has now resulted in long-term suffering for our children as well. For example, in the US “Type 2” diabetes used to be called “Adult Onset” diabetes. However because of unhealthy eating habits this devastating disease is now also occurring in our children. So in spite of all our medical advances and trillions in healthcare costs, the US Surgeon General reports that we may see “the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents”
5. Unfortunately, people world-wide have adopted our “developed” countries’ lifestyles. These global changes in diet have become the leading causes of WHO’s three “Slow Motion Disasters” of 1.Non-Communicable Diseases 2.Climate Change and 3.Antibiotic Resistance.
6. For example, The Lancet reports “Civilization is in crisis… intensive meat production is on an unstoppable trajectory comprising the single greatest contributor to climate change.”
7. Over 80% of U.S. antibiotics are used on factory farms to prevent infections due to living in filth, stress and overcrowding. Although this feared world-wide epidemic has not yet occurred, CDC reports “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time-Each year in the US, at least 2.8 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection & more than 35,000 people die.”
8. And now, in addition, we face the increasing frequency of global pandemics of COVID-19, SARS, Bird & Swine Flu, Ebola and other zoonoses due to wet markets, factory farms and our excessive use of animals for food.
9. The UN (Preventing the next pandemic-Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission) reports: “COVID-19 is one of the worst zoonotic diseases, but it is not the first…75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic… The drivers of this trend–including climate change and increased demand for meat–are on the rise.”
THE GOOD NEWS IS: THIS IS ALL PREVENTABLE!!
See the following U.S. HHS and WHO evidence-based 2 page handout in several languages: IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE / PREVENTION OF PANDEMICS (Five Scientific Evidence-Based Blessings of Plant-Based Eating)
II. HEPFDC NUTRITION EDUCATION
See Illustration 38 A & Illustration 38B and the corresponding HEPFDC Handbook lessons for WHO guidelines in all available languages on the DOWNLOAD FREE page
III. ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE-BASED RESOURCES–LIFESTYLE MEDICINE (The most rapidly growing field in US and global medicine)
A. Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance (LMGA)
B. American College of Lifestyle Medicine guidelines: See especially: Nutrition, Whole-Food Plant-Based, and Whole-Food Plant-Based for Children
C. American Medical Association / Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology Partnership See especially: Resources for the Public Resources for Health Professionals
D. Culinary Heart Disease Video 2020 (Includes Amer. College of Cardiology & Amer. Heart Assoc. Guidelines)
E. What Diet Should Physicians Recommend? Video Nutritionfacts.org
Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets
Plant-Based Eating-Eat healthy, live better (A community service from Kaiser Permanente)